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Understanding the basics of diabetes

Diabetes occurs when the amount of blood sugar or glucose is above normal levels. This occurs because your cells are unable to absorb the glucose. Cells need this sugar in order to carry out their activities part of which involves generating energy for your body. In essence, they become starved. You can equate this to a hungry person who is surrounded by lots of food but cannot it because the mouth is sewn shut.

Why is the body unable to use glucose?

In every type of diabetes, there are reasons as to why the body cannot use glucose and turn it into energy. In order to understand diabetes, the following concepts are important:

1. Your body cells need to remove glucose from the blood and store it as fuel

2. The pancreas must facilitate this process by producing insulin

3. Your body must break down glucose from diet

Diabetes further simplified

So you are looking at a gas cap with a lock. Insulin acts as the key while glucose is the fuel. As you are going to find out shortly, there are two types of diabetes. In the first type, your body stops producing insulin. This hinders the absorption of glucose into the cells that need it. On the other hand, the second type of diabetes is where the body makes insulin alright, but the amounts are insufficient. That means only a small quantity of glucose gets absorbed by body cells. Lastly, even with insulin present, your cells malfunction meaning they cannot get glucose through; otherwise known as insulin resistance. In all these instances, the common denominator is that the amount of glucose in the blood remains high.

Diabetes types

Now that you have a basic understanding of what takes place when one has diabetes, here are the types earlier hinted at:

  • Type 1: In this type of diabetes, your body stops producing insulin. It is common in children and accounts for 5-10 percent of all diabetic cases.
  • Type 2: In this second type, two things may happen. First, your pancreas may be unable to produce the quantity of insulin needed for the absorption of glucose. The second possibility is where your body cells resist insulin. It accounts for 90-95 percent of all cases and is the most common form of diabetes.

There are other types but they do not occur in large numbers. Gestational diabetes is a good example that affects women who are pregnant.

When glucose or sugar is mentioned, you might that it has to do with the eating of sweets, cake and candy. That is not true. Any food you eat that contains carbohydrates is broken down into glucose. Once digestion is complete, your blood picks up the broken down form and takes it to cells all over the body. For healthy persons, glucose is absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract. Almost simultaneously this sends a signal to the pancreas to produce insulin.

That is why affected people are given free diabetic supplies from Ingram Diabetic to help them keep the glucose levels at an optimum level.

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